Quit Whining, Enjoy the College Football Playoff

Jimbo Fisher has his Noles headed out West to face Oregon.

Baylor is upset that it beat TCU head-to-head and won the Big 12 championship by any logical or rational definition and is sitting at home. TCU is upset because the Horned Frogs won a game 55-3 and dropped from third to sixth and finds itself out of the tournament.

 

Everyone is upset that Ohio State — a team with the worst loss, the fewest good wins and an injured Heisman caliber quarterback — is in the bracket at all.

 

Common sense is upset at Bob Bowlsby and the Big 12.

 

As much as I enjoy the role of contrarian, I can't really disagree with any of that. If I were a TCU fan, I'd be furious. If I was a Baylor fan, I'd be livid. There is some justified Texas-sized diaper rash in Waco and Fort Worth. Both teams were deserving.

 

But we expected this.

 

We knew the advent of a selection committee was going to create inherent doubt and endless debate. The top three were going to be obvious and a small number of teams, say two or three, were going to feel like they earned that fourth spot. It's the nature of the beast we now call the College Football Playoff.

 

But it's an extremely small price to pay for the end result: Two historic playoff showdowns in college football for the first time in history. The landmark four-team, three-game tournament is going to be extraordinary and I'm going to love every snap.

 

The likely Heisman Trophy winner is going to face the unbeaten defending national champs. The flashiest program in the country that everyone loves to watch versus the most controversial franchise that America loves to hate. Marcus Mariota v. Jameis Winston. Need I say more?

 

Oregon-Florida State in Pasadena would be a outstandingly juicy matchup if it was the BCS national championship game. But college football gets another epic 60 minutes in New Orleans.

 

The sixth-winningest program in college football history (Ohio St) will face the eighth-winningest program in college football history (Alabama) in a game that features six combined BCS title game appearances. The undisputed king of the Big Ten will square off against the czar of the Southeastern Conference in football's modern embodiment of the North-South rivalry. Urban Meyer will match wits with Nick Saban in what amounts to their third national semifinal against one another in search of their combined seventh national title ring.

 

You'd have to be a corpse not to get excited.

Could I make a case that TCU looked like the best challenger with a reinvented offense and playmaking defense? Of course. Could I make a case that Baylor was, in fact, the one true champion of the Big 12 and was clearly the most deserving team in the conversation? Yes sir. Could I make the case that Ohio State is the most talented of the three, playing the best football of the three and would be the toughest out of the three? You bet.

But why waste all that time? These two playoff games are the first of their kind and will be remembered throughout college football history. When people talk about the 2014 season, they will always include "the first playoff games in college football history." It's a lot to live up to.

 

I am thankful that these two matchups will be deserving of such folklore.

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